According to the Coalition for the Homeless, last year, 1,164 children were born into the New York City homeless shelter system. This is 287 more babies than the previous two years.
[SOURCE: The New York Times]
[SOURCE: The New York Times]
“Every New Yorker should be outraged at the incompetence and even cruelty at the Department of Homeless Services. These families and children are ripped from their homes at a moment’s notice, traumatized again because DHS is failing in every way to address homelessness.” -Jimmy Van Brammer (NYC Councilmember) on the sloppy, forced transition of homeless families from a Queens hotel shelter. [Source: NY Daily News]
It’s only approximately three weeks into 2018, and there has already been at least two deaths of newborn babies in two different New York City homeless shelters.
In both cases, the New York City Daily News states that the cause of death of the babies has not yet been determined.
On the first Wednesday of 2018, a baby living in a Queens shelter, Saratoga Family Inn, died. This is not the first time a baby has perished as this shelter. In 2004, a three-month old baby died at the shelter after being found unconscious. In 2003, twin babies also died at the shelter via suffocation.
Yesterday, according to the New York Daily News, a baby born at the Callaway Family Residence, a shelter for pregnant women located in the Bronx, died after he was found not breathing.
According to a recent interview on DNA Info, a study that was done by the New York State Technical and Education Assistance Center for Homeless Students, has found that: “One out of every 10 New York City students were identified as homeless [during] the last school year.”
I am not certain if this figure is exclusive to only the public school system in NYC, or the NYC school system in its entirety. However, with, reportedly, approximately 1.1 million children in the NYC public school system, the aforementioned statistic means that at least 110,000 children in New York City have been homeless during the last school year.
With numbers this high, why isn’t homelessness the premier issue during this upcoming New York City election?
HMLS New Yorker
Last night, the New York Daily news posted an exclusive online article stating that the City Council will be introducing new legislation concerning homeless youth.
The bills that will be presented will reportedly: Require the city to put out annual reports disclosing the number of homeless youth in the city; Raise the age of youths who can stay in youth shelters from 21 to 25 years of age; and allow youth to stay in shelters for up to 120 days, a 90-day increase to the current stipulation.
According to the New York Daily News, the legislation will be introduced to the City Council today.
PayPal CEO, Dan Shulman, recently did an interview with Alyson Shontell for Business Insider’s podcast, “Success: How I Did It.” During the interview, he addressed being homeless for a day in New York City in order to bring awareness to homelessness- particularly homelessness among the youth. . Here is an excerpt of that below:
“QUESTION: One interesting thing that you did when you were CEO of Virgin Mobile is you spent 24 hours homeless on the streets of New York City, begging for money and food. Why did you do it, and what did you learn?
ANSWER: It was quite an informative and impactful thing for me, not just doing that, but going forward as well. At the time, Virgin Mobile decide that the cause we were going to draw attention to was homeless youth. There is obviously a homelessness problem in the country, but there’s also a couple of million kids who are homeless on the street for different reasons and they don’t really have a voice. They’re usually pretty much preyed upon, and we thought, Virgin Mobile is a youth-oriented service, we want to do something in which we can give back. But I quickly realized that if you want to talk about something, if you want to believe in something, you can’t just intellectualize it, you have to experience it because I think the power of your voice comes from your brain, obviously, but also your heart.
I went with a person who was the executive director of a homeless youth organization, and we met and we basically went in jeans and a T-shirt. I hadn’t shaved in a while. We could only carry a quarter to make a phone call from a pay phone if we were in trouble. We had to beg for money, for food, for coffee. It was only 24 hours, so let’s not turn this into some heroic thing, but what it really did give me is an appreciation of just what people go through and how difficult life is when you don’t have the things that you just take for granted. This carried over as we went into financial inclusion and some other things that I’ve really been a champion of. But actually living what it’s like not having a checking account, not to have a credit or a debit card, and waiting in lines and seeing how much it costs and seeing how much it costs and seeing the environment around you and feeling that sort of indignity that can go on with not having things again that affluent.
QUESTION: Where did you sleep, and how did you eat, and what did you do for that day?
ANSWER: The day goes on forever because you don’t have much to do and it’s hot and we tried to sleep in a couple of different places, but you get kicked out of them quite a bit. So we climbed over a fence and slept in a skateboard park on the Lower East Side. I can only imagine what it’s like for that being your life for the foreseeable future. I became a very fierce advocate for it. I went down to Congress, testified, bought in people like Jewel to come in to testify at Congress. She was homeless for a while as well. We got the Senate to pass some resolutions on it. We gave free concerts, but people had to volunteer at homeless shelters. It was really all about raising awareness for homeless youth.”
I got the following statistics from charts and graphs contained in a report recently released by the City of New York entitled, “Turning the Tide on Homelessness in New York City.”
Families with children- 63%
Adult Families- 7%
Single Adults- 29%
Current Employment Rate of Shelter Residents (as of 12/2/16): (Please note that these statistics may be based on the head of household solely. Therefore, they may exclude other working homeless New Yorkers.)
Families with children- Approximately 42%
Adult families- Approximately 29%
Single adults- Approximately 18%
The “Turning the Tide on Homelessness in New York City” report also states: “A substantial number of people in shelters are working adults who cannot afford to rent an apartment given their incomes.”